Local News

New Program Keeps Soccer Kids, Parents In Shape

Posted May 2, 2005 1:53 a.m. EDT

— Soccer is one of the most physically demanding sports. WakeMed is working with the Capital Area Soccer League to help children meet those demands with healthy habits.

At soccer practice at Ailey Young Park in Wake Forest, assistant coach Jade Clausen gets the team's head into the game. Warm-ups and stretching were not always part of practices, but the WakeMed Twinkle Challenge changed all that.

At the beginning of the season, players of the Capital Area Soccer League signed a five-point agreement. It includes warm-ups and cool downs to avoid injury, and it even gets into the post-game snacks.

"After the games, we have healthy snacks. We tell them no Oreos or sodas -- anything like that, and in the middle of the game, we have fruits and stuff," Clausen said.

The challenge is not just for those on the field, but also for those sitting on the sidelines, like Kelly Profit.

"She brought it home to us and we have been out walking more. Some moms try to walk during the practices," she said.

The team enjoys the healthier lifestyle on the field and at home.

"Well, one showed up at practice today all excited that she's eating string cheese because it wasn't McDonalds," Clausen said. "It's constant moving. You're never slowing down. You just have to keep going up and down the field and on the hot summer days, it will get you working."

By the end of the season, the teams will celebrate receive awards, not just for what they accomplished on the field, but also for finishing the Twinkle Challenge.